Black Sheep Brewery

Black Sheep plots lager expansion with bottled launch


Black Sheep Brewery is preparing to roll out its first-ever lager to the off-trade with the launch of 54 Degrees North as a bottled alternative.

The premium small batch craft lager will be available in 4 x 330ml bottled format initially at the North Yorkshire-based brewery’s award-winning Visitor Centre as well as on its website – four months since it was launched on draught, in July 2017, as part of Black Sheep’s 25th anniversary year celebrations.

54 Degrees North was created in homage to Black Sheep’s hometown of Masham, North Yorkshire, which sits on 54’ 13’ 24” N; 1’ 39’ 20” W longitude and latitude lines.

It is officially endorsed by leading British mountaineer and explorer, Alan Hinkes OBE, who is the only Briton to have climbed all fourteen of the world’s 8,000m peaks.

At 4.5% ABV, 54 Degrees North is brewed using German Pilsner Malt together with Magnum and Polaris hops, as well as the classic German aroma hop, Tettnang. Devised by Black Sheep’s creative brewing team, it also uses the brewery’s own yeast strain and pure water from the Yorkshire Dales.

54 Degrees North is top fermented using Black Sheep’s famous Yorkshire Square fermenters in Masham, then lagered for a month to intensify the crisp, clean finish.

Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at Black Sheep Brewery, said: “The launch of 54 Degrees North and our first lager was a major signal of intent and its popularity has really come on strong since July. We are delighted to be in a position to scale up production and offer it as a bottled alternative to drinkers as we look to build-on and secure relationships with off-trade partners.

“It is another cause for celebration in our 25th anniversary year and demonstrates our ability to diversify and bring something new to the lager market.”

Jo added: “54 Degrees North exemplifies the Black Sheep story and adventure perfectly, and crucially pays tribute to our hometown which is a major part of who we are and our story.”



CONTACT: Jamie Collis on 01325 363436

Editor’s Notes:

The Black Sheep Brewery in Masham made its first beer in 1992 after being built up by Paul Theakston, whose family had brewed in the area for six generations.

In a world of ever increasing bland, mass-produced beer Paul saw an opportunity to return to what his family had done best since 1827, making real beer in the time-honoured fashion.

An old maltings building, once part of Lightfoot's Brewery became the Brewery’s home. This landmark building, which stands high over the banks of the Ure, had fallen in to disrepair as years of neglect as a semi-redundant grainstore had taken its toll. Paul assembled a small team around him to fight the rats and build a traditional country brewery.

The Black Sheep Brewery name derived from Masham’s association with sheep, but ‘Sheep Brewery’ didn’t quite sound right, so with a little creativity from Paul’s wife the Black Sheep Brewery was born, a name that sat well with the area, spoke volumes about the maverick attitude to the multi-nationals seeking to dominate the brewing industry and captured the essence of the family struggle that led to our birth.

Black Sheep Ale at 4.4% ABV, now in an eco-friendly lightweight bottle, continues to maintain its presence among the top ten premium bottled ale brands, and is available nationwide from virtually all the major supermarket retailers. It is a classic premium bitter and as with all Black Sheep beers, full of character derived from the best possible brewing materials, plenty of time and patience in the brewing and our very special Yorkshire Square fermenters.

In 2014, Black Sheep Best Bitter, - Yorkshire’s best-selling cask ale – underwent a facelift to broaden its appeal among drinkers, evolving the look, while retaining all of the great taste that has made it an iconic brand.

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54 Degrees North is now available in bottled format
54 Degrees North is now available in bottled format
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